Bosnia: Declaration of the new Young Bosnia

A new grouping has been formed within the JOSD (Unified Organisation for Socialism and Democracy) in East Sarajevo, “based on the principles of Marxism and liberty” and which “rejects and renounces bourgeois and obsolete nationalist ideologies”. After the fratricidal civil war that tore apart the former Yugoslavia, promoted by local nationalist bourgeois cliques, we now see the beginnings of a reawakening of the most radical youth whose points of reference are the struggles of the past that united the peoples of this region and Marxism. We publish it for the interests of our readers and welcome this development.

[TRANSLATOR’S NOTE: After the 1992-1996 civil war, the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was divided into two so called “entities”, the Serb Republic, a centralised state with a Serb majority, and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H), a confederacy divided up into cantons, dominated by either Bosniacs (Bosnians of Islamic-heritage) or Croats. The city of Brčko, in the north of the country, is a separate district, autonomous from both “entities”. The city of Sarajevo is, for the most part, a canton of the Federation, while East Sarajevo belongs to the Serb Republic. The authors of the document are communists from the Serb Republic, affiliated to JOSD, which is a countrywide leftist organization. They are called “Young Bosnia” in memory of the late 19th to early 20th century revolutionary pan-Slavic nationalist organisation, whose member, Gavrilo Princip went down in history for assassinating Franz Ferdinand, the Austro-Hungarian archduke.]


Drown the song of monasteries and the Sun
The charm of marigold and silk be gone
Woe and graves is the people of mine
And ancient glory is but a lie

It is no imperial banner flying
My people is a defiled mother
Poverty and sweat that smoulders
In the shame of ruin

(Milosh Tsernianski, In memory of Gavrilo Princip)

Members of the Unified Organisation for Socialism and Democracy (JOSD, in East Sarajevo hereby announce the formation of the “Young Bosnia” organisation, which accepts all programme and statutory articles of the JOSD and is autonomous in its functioning on the same level as other JOSD cells in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The formation of such a local organization of JOSD has two primary goals. The reaffirmation of revolutionary thought in Bosnia and Herzegovina and, within this goal, the return of the Serb people in B&H to the values of universalism and internationalism, which have been suppressed and devalued, for two decades now, without any foundation in reality or historic facts.

Young Bosnia believes that the Serb people, along with the two other peoples, through the antifascist and revolutionary Partisan struggle during the Second World War did not create Bosnia and Herzegovina as a people’s republic so that today it could be divided into spheres of interest of ethnic-national bourgeoisies as a financial colony of big banking and corporate capital. The Serb people must no longer be naïve and let themselves be manipulated by the alleged protectors of national interests, false national democrats and fake social democrats, who are those who have carried out the liberal-capitalist economic ideology, run into the ground and/or sold off all public enterprises, and who are now getting ready, under the guise of taking over “state property”, to prepare the ground to sell it all off for their own benefit.

Young Bosnia reminds everyone that Gavrilo Princip and Nedeljko Čabrinović, in their revolutionary struggle against the colonial power at the time, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, were not fighting against other peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but against the country’s subordinate colonial status. It was not just a struggle against Austro-Hungarian imperialism in the South Slavic lands, but also against the collaboration of the Serb bourgeoisie with the Habsburg colonial government.

A little known fact is that Gavrilo Princip believed that the Serb “bazaar” [i.e. middle class political circles in Bosnia] should be set ablaze “like a box of matches”, for pretending to stand for the national and Yugoslav cause, while their primary interest was the protection and augmentation of their own wealth within the framework of the colonial administration and the interests of Austro-Hungarian bourgeoisie. Nedeljko Čabrinović, as the president of the Sarajevo apprentices’ organisation (at the age of 14) was known for his warning to those people who “only know how to listen to the words of priests, and not think whether what they are saying is the truth or not” but instead they “let themselves be dumbed down by those leeches of the people.” It is no wonder that a robber clique produced in that manner, alienated from the people’s interest and democratic values, was most instrumental in allowing the colonial administration of the Belgrade bourgeoisie over South Slavic lands to ruin the implementation of the progressive Yugoslav idea with their greed.

We see today the very same state of affairs in B&H, when Milorad Dodik, Nebojša Radmanović and Nikola Špirić act as if they are protectors of national interests, while passing robber laws, they have left the Serb people at the mercy of financial interests of foreign banks, corporations and the usury of micro-credit organisations. Bosnia and Herzegovina, and hence the Serb Republic, should the policies of these “national protectors” continue, will face the fate of Greece, which, due to the mismanagement of its “national managers” and big capital, now has to sell its airports, harbours, roads, telecommunication companies and even their water processing plants and sewage in order to repay its debts.

Naturally, Young Bosnia would especially like to stress the fact that the Bosniac and Croat people in B&H have also been reduced to mere instruments of their ethnic-national bourgeoisies via actions of national-democratic and social democratic elitist political agencies. Our invoking Gavrilo Princip must not in any way be reduced to addressing the Serb people exclusively, nor does it exclusively concern their interests. Young Bosnia rejects the bourgeois fetishist concept of ethnicity and nation, based on occult ideological constructions, in its entirety. Our purpose is to draw attention to class consciousness developed by the seventeen year old Princip at the beginning of the last century, which is today being destroyed in a planned manner among the Serb people, as well as among the Bosniac and Croat people.

Unlike the Young Bosnia of old, which never existed as a political movement, but was in fact a later named group of people of different political convictions, Young Bosnia will profile itself within JOSD as an organisation based on the principles of Marxism and liberty. Young Bosnia, as a part of JOSD, therefore rejects and renounces bourgeois and obsolete nationalist ideologies of individuals who were members of the previous Young Bosnia, especially when it concerns nationalist convictions of Vasa Čubrilović, which he himself renounced after the Second World War.

Young Bosnia believes that the Serb people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in their best interest, must denounce and despise the perfidious manipulations of its traditional symbols and values, which has been done by bourgeois ideologists for twenty years now, carrying through their conception of a society where the majority of goods are at the disposal of a privileged minority. What is especially shameful in the existing order is the role of the corrupt and morally perverted high clergy of the Serbian Orthodox Church, who, instead of Christian values of universalism and modesty and equality among people, blesses and takes parts in the capitalist gangsterism of the ruling bourgeoisie.

The two decades under the rule of the reactionary national-chauvinist bourgeoisie and its chetnik ideology have brought the Serb people nothing other than poverty, humiliation and indescribable disgrace due to monstrous crimes, ethnic cleansing and genocide incited, planned and ordered in its name by this marauding and criminal clique. The Serb people must not be an instrument of villains and their manipulations anymore. They are not popular representatives, but a class that grew rich by robbing the Serb people and that works solely in its own interest.

Young Bosnia thus calls upon the Serb people, via acting in progressive, non parliamentary, leftist and labour organisations, to offer their hand to the equally disenfranchised, humiliated, robbed and disgraced Bosniac and Croat people. May our new alliance be our common catharsis and the guarantee of a future society built upon egalitarianism and social justice, and not the phantasmagoria and fetishism of national robber bourgeoisies.

Written in East Sarajevo, January 16, 2011

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